Who We Are

Board Members

Chair: Garrison Beck
Vice Chair: Rich O’Brian
Treasurer:
Secretary: Tonya Gorman
Kala Ladenheim, Kate Del Vecchio, Susan Parks, Mike Perisho, Jess Raahede, Marguerite Ridgeway

Staff

General Manager: Shawn Menard
Grocery Manager: Karen Benner
Fresh Manager: Tonya Gorman
Cooperative Clerks: Jake Wilson and Tyson Pease

Board Members

Garrison Beck has been a resident of Kennebec County for his entire life. He lived in Monmouth until attending Colby College in Waterville where he graduated in Environmental Studies with a concentration in policy. Currently, Garrison lives in Farmingdale and is employed as the Senior Program Manager for the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association in Jefferson. As a student at Colby College, Garrison worked closely with the Barrels Community Market in Waterville as a program manager with the Colby Volunteer Center. He coordinated and oversaw all students from Colby who volunteered at Barrels Community Market and tracked the overall volunteer contribution, which ultimately supported what is now the Barrels Co-op. In his current occupation as Senior Program Manager, Garrison is responsible for implementing and overseeing all of the Association’s various programs, which require significant skill in volunteer management and organizational development. He also serves as the Association’s in-house bookkeeper and assists in writing and applying for a number of grants, all skills which he brings to the board of the Gardiner Food Co-op & Café. Garrison also brings information to the Co-op from courses at Colby College that are particularly relevant, including Global Food Policy, Environment and Natural Resource Economics, and Sustainable Development, among others.

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kala ladenheimKala Ladenheim, PhD, MSPH has been involved with food co-ops since the 1970s, when she was part of Maine’s original Federation of Co-ops. She is a passionate gardener and wild crafter. Kala believes the health of a community depends in part on good food and the joyous connections that can engender. In her capacity as a public health professional she was a creator of the Healthy Maine Streets program, has held several executive positions, and served for 15 years as a policy expert (with a focus on health care financing and health economics) on and for state health legislatures. Experienced in grant writing, program design, evaluation and management, she currently serves on boards of Healthy Communities of the Capitol area and Maine Community Health Options and operates Maine Health Policy dot Info.

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Karen Stultz discovered the joy of eating fresh healthy foods at her Mothers knee. Karen’s joy of having truly fresh and healthy foods all in one convenient spot, and seeing Downtown Gardiner also benefit and grow, made her excited to be part of this community.

Karen’s past business history can benefit the board, she has worked in Municipal Government and Banking. Presently she is a Life and Business Coach and the Hypnotherapist at Zardus Art of Massage and Wellness in Gardiner where she creates transformation by clearing of unwanted stress, anxieties, and other unwanted emotions, patterns and beliefs, that can stall the growth of Life and Business.

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Staff:

Shawn MenardShawn Menard went to the University of Maine Farmington where he received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Environmental Studies. He spent all four years at Farmington working for the Sustainable Campus Coalition. His work directly saved energy, minimized waste, saved the campus money, and reduced the environmental footprint of the campus. Shawn also received a Master of Science in Management with a Sustainability concentration from New England College.

Most recently, Shawn worked as Produce Manager at the Concord Food Co-op. His exposure to local foods the past few years has made him realize the importance of a strong local food economy.  He looks forward to helping the Gardiner community enhance its understanding of the importance of local food.

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Tonya Gorman grew up on the Southern Coast of Maine. Caring for the environment, animals and people has been an important aspect of her life since childhood. Moving to Gardiner in 2003 was meant to be temporary but has now become home to her and her family.  She started her own handmade jewelry business in 2010 while staying home to take care of her daughter. As a local artisan she understands the importance of the shop local movement.  Working at and being a member of the Gardiner Food Co-op has many great meanings for her. Giving back to the community and supporting the local food movement being one.  Working for a cause, having a purpose everyday to serve the people that come into the Co-op to shop, eat or just visit. Also setting an example of compassion and hard work for her daughter is very important to her.  Making good, healthy food that people will want to come back for again and again is an intention that she sets everyday. She looks forward to meeting many new people at the Co-op and being a familiar face in the Gardiner Community.

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